Fight Junkies: The Tools of War (Part 2) (3400 Words) (Contains Violence)


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  1. #1

    Fight Junkies: The Tools of War (Part 2) (3400 Words) (Contains Violence)

    So here is part of chapter two of my novel. Please tell me what you think and where I need to improve. Also I did my best to break it up and make it more comfortable to read let me know if i should break the dialogue up more.
    As always thank you so much for taking the time to read.


    Chapter Two
    Universe’s Five Most Wanted:
    Minter Shakur
    Ji’ang Braler
    Dawon Katara
    Suer’ver
    Tav Braler

    Dar’sater
    (Mid-Rim Planet)
    Minter Shakur squeezed the trigger on his triple barreled shotgun. The big gun bucked upwards as it spit a chunk of energized metal. The metal chunk burned so hot it was nearly white. As quickly as the chunk roared away Minter pumped and fired again.

    From inside of a dirt trench Minter fired. To his left and right were dozens more Troas warriors. Each had a gun drawn and were firing into the hoard of Immortals advancing on them. Minter and his warriors were entrenched outside of a small city. They had been focused on capturing the city for just over a week and half. The Immortals were doing an aggravatingly good job holding them off.

    Minter continuously fired into the same Immortal. It took seven slugs to the chest before the massive alien went down. Seven slugs from his shotgun left a hole roughly a foot in diameter.

    Each of the Immortals was huge. The smallest of them stood at seven feet and weighted well over four hundred pounds. In battle these animals didn’t bother to wear armor, just a few pieces of clothing to keep decent. But every single one of them carried a heavy caliber rifle that sported a three foot spike at the end of the barrel. Although Minter did notice a few of the Immortals were carrying rocket launchers and shotguns.

    Over all comms Minter ordered: “Hold the line. We still have an airstrike en route.”
    Minter knew his warriors weren’t stupid enough to run out when an airstrike had just been ordered but they had the chore of fighting alongside the 19th Battalion for this leg of their tour.

    ‘Hopefully a chore soon to be finished.’ Minter thought.

    The front lines of the Immortals were getting extremely close to their trench. Minter fired his shotgun as fast as he could. An untold amount of enemy bullets bounced off his helmet and shoulder plates.

    Suddenly he could hear the roar of two separate sets of engines. Two gunships thundered high above him. Two missiles fell from each of the gunships. Fire rocketed out of the ends as the missiles thundered into the mass of Immortals. Hundreds of Immortals were vaporized in the blast. The sandstorm that resulted from the explosions threatened to blind the Troas warriors.

    The two gunships rounded about and headed back towards their Forward Operating Base.

    Even with the airstrike the Troas were outnumbered three to one. On top of those odds thick plumes of dust now covered the battlefield. The coarse red sand tried to blind and choke them. Ocean sized sand dunes surrounded their battlefield and beyond that were more dunes.

    Minter shoved his shotgun into his armored pack and grabbed the foot long metal shaft hooked to the back of his thick leather belt. Jumping up out of the trench he flicked his wrist and the staff extended to a full five feet. From the top of the shaft extended a two and a half foot long scythe’s blade. Minter swung hard and cut an Immortal clean in half. As its torso fell it still fired at Minter.

    The scythe, just like the blades in his gauntlets, and the armor that protected him, were made of Troas metal. (Troas metal being one of the most durable metals in the entire universe. When the first of all Republics was built the government befriended Troas. As a gift the Troas gave tons of the metal. That metal was used to amass a nearly indestructible fleet. That fleet was used to enslave Troas and mine away most of the known metal at that time. Fortunately for the Troas, reserves were hidden and more veins have been discovered. Now in present times outside of Troas the metal is extremely rare and extremely coveted. So i'm not sure about this part of the paragraph. I want to include a small bit of history about the Troas but i don't know if this counts as an unnecessary information dumb. Let me know.)

    Minter’s helmet was equipped with three hundred sixty degree vision and it showed him that every man and woman from his 30th Battalion was climbing out of the trench and drawing a blade. Minter swung again and cut down another Immortal. It fell to the ground and Minter quickly brought his blade down into the back of the alien’s neck. Looking up he saw the remaining soldiers of the 19th Battalion still fired from the trenches.

    Powerful hacks wasted any Immortal Minter’s scythe came across but the sheer number of the enemy was overwhelming. Immortals began to easily push past Minter and his warriors. As he ejected the blade in his left gauntlet he used the scythe’s blade as a hook and pulled an Immortal towards himself. As the massive alien stumbled towards Minter he punched the beast, ramming the gauntlet’s blade deep into its chest. Pushing the body off his blade Minter spun and swept his scythe deep into another Immortal’s midsection. Recovering from his swipe he brought his weapon down on an Immortal’s shoulder, ripping the blade out he took the alien's legs out, and before the Immortal hit the ground Minter brought his bladed gauntlet down into its chest.

    Immortals were starting to flood into the trenches, crushing a few of the 19th Battalion’s soldiers. Some of the 19th tried to jump out of the trench but the Immortals stabbed down on them with their bladed rifles.

    Minter and three other thirties ran towards the trench. As he jumped down into the trench he cut down an Immortal. Spinning he cut through the side of another. Coming out of the spin Minter managed to duck just as an Immortal stabbed down at him. He cut the legs out from the Immortal and stabbed down on the alien. Pulling his blade out Minter threw a brutal uppercut and caught an Immortal right underneath its chin. As he pulled the blade out the giant body fell.

    Suddenly Minter heard engines again.
    ‘What in the universe?’
    Minter looked to the sky. Two different Troas gunships flew into view.
    ‘Blast! Blast! Blast it!’
    “Fallback to the trench, another airstrike is coming.” Minter ordered.

    Minter jumped out of the trench and kept cutting through Immortals. Most of the sand was starting to settle and Minter could easily see if any of his warriors needed help. As quickly as they could his men and women made it back to the trench.

    As one Troas warrior turned to run an Immortal hooked his right leg and tripped him. The Immortal stabbed down but the Troas warrior managed to roll away. Minter drew his shotgun and ran towards the Immortal firing. Its chest exploded into shrapnel and flames but it shrugged off the attack. Minter quickly fired all three barrels into the Immortal then grabbed the Troas warrior by his armored collar and lifted him up.

    Minter ordered, “Get up Trajin.”
    Trajin responded, “Yes sir, boss.”

    When Trajin stood at his full height of six foot three inches, he towered over Minter’s five foot ten frame. But what were truly imposing about Trajin were the horns that protruded out of his head and through the holes in his helmet. He had a thick horn that protruded out of his chin, almost like a goatee, and two curved horns that came off his elbows. A fully armored Troas warrior was an imposing sight but when that fully armored Troas warrior had dozens of razor sharp horns it brought that sight to a whole new level.

    As Minter and Trajin jumped into the trench they could hear the gunships thunder over them.
    The missiles dropped.
    The explosions were near deafening.
    Corse red sand was blasted in all directions.
    The warriors in the trench were bombarded by it. The sand moved at such high speeds it started to pelt off the silver and electric blue paint on Minter’s armor.

    Then it became extremely quiet. As the sand settled Minter climbed out of the trench. Majority of the Immortals lay dead but many crawled towards the trench, trying to continue their mission. As Minter walked past an Immortal it grabbed his armored boot. Minter jumped back and fired all three barrels into the Immortal.

    “You’re a bit jumpy there, aren’t you?” A Troas warrior named Jit Tatum asked.
    Minter growled, “Shut up, Jit.”
    Jit chuckled as he continued to walk. Like Minter, he had black skin but Jit had dreadlocks that came past his shoulder blades while Minter kept his head shaved. Minter had a trimmed goatee while Jit was always clean shaven.
    Jit asked, “So who was the maggot that called in that last airstrike?”
    Minter answered, “Not a clue.”
    Jit shook his head in disgust.
    Minter said, “Trajin.”
    “Yeah boss.” Trajin answered.
    “Get the troops ready to march on the city.” Minter said.
    Trajin responded, “Consider it done.”
    Minter and Jit walked over to the trench and counted the bodies. Two of the dead were thirties and thirteen dead from the 19th.
    “Look, a few of them were killed by stabs to the throat.” Minter pointed out.
    “Immortals have to be getting faster.” Jit said.
    Minter agreed, “Have to be.”
    Jit continued, “Or we’re getting slower.”
    Minter shook his helmeted head, “Let’s hope not.”
    Both their helmet’s comms chimed and Trajin said, “Waiting on you.”


    Minter led the march on the city. As they marched he kept waiting for that second attack to come but none came. Soon they were within a hundred and fifty feet of the city and still no attack.
    ‘Something’s not right.’
    They made it inside the city without as much as a tumble weed rolling by.
    Jit thought aloud, “There is no way we exhausted their entire force.”
    Trajin offered, “Compared to the size of the forces the other cities had, we’ve probably only depleted a fourth to a half.”
    Minter carefully said, “Just watch each other’s back.”

    They continued deeper into the city towards the Forward Operating Base. They caught sight of the base a couple of hundred yards out. Minter ordered a halt.
    Minter ordered, “Ajek, Armanti, Drixy, scout around. I want to know everything about the surrounding buildings.”

    The three warriors took off into the city.

    Four buildings into his scout Ajek could not shake the overwhelming urge to piss. As fast as he could he cleared the floor of the building he was on, found a toilet, and went.
    Finishing, he felt a thousand times better.
    ‘Hate pissing in my armor.’
    In front of a mirror he slid off his helmet and stared. He touched the stiches that held the jagged gash across his check closed.
    ‘Wife is not going to like that.’
    Just as he was moving to slide his helmet back on the floor boards creaked. In one fluid motion he drew a pistol and turned to face the noise.
    Staring back at him was an Immortal. The tip of the rifle’s blade was just a foot away from Ajek’s unprotected face.
    The Immortal’s smiled an evil lipless smile. Ajek was caught in a bad position and they both knew it.

    Ajek tried to think of a way that got him out of this situation mostly intact but he was drawing blanks. He was about to try a suicidal attack when there was a cock of a gun and the Immortals head exploded. Ajek was showered in pieces of the alien. He kept his pistol drawn as Minter walked into the doorway. Ajek blew a sigh of relief and holstered his gun. He turned the water faucet on and started to wash the blood and brain off his face and out of his hair.

    Angrily Minter shouted, “Why the blast was your bucket off?"
    Ajek finished cleaning off before he answered, “My stiches were bothering me, so I checked them.”
    Minter tried to contain his anger, “Did it cross your empty head to clear the area before you stripped out of your armor?”
    Ajek said defensively, “I did clear it.”
    Minter lost it and shouted again, “Obviously not! You’d be dead if I hadn’t come to see what was holding you up.”
    Ajek still didn’t look at Minter, instead he asked, “What does it matter? We’re dead anyways with the amount of Immortals we have to deal with.”
    As quickly as the anger flooded in it ebbed back. Minter quietly asked, “Is that how you feel? Dead men walking?”
    Ajek answered, “Sometimes.”
    Minter asked, “And how is that fair to your wife? You chose to go and fight instead of being with her.”
    Finally Ajek looked at Minter, “Don’t you dare bring her into this!”
    Minter chose to be stern, “Or what soldier? You’re going to give up like you’re doing with the war?”
    Ajek balled his fist and swung at Minter as hard has he could. In one fluid motion Minter blocked the swing and pinned Ajek against the wall.
    Minter barked, “That’s the intensity you used to have, Ajek. That’s the intensity you need. Bring it back.”
    He slowly unpinned Ajek and said, “I know it has been a grueling war. I know all you want to do is see your wife again and I promise you, soon you will. Our tour is almost up and you’ll see her soon. I just need you to keep you head and your bucket on. Can you do that for me? For your wife?”
    “I can boss. Sorry I let you down.” Ajek answered.
    “You didn’t.” Minter responded: “Keep that helmet on and you won’t lose your head.”
    Ajek nodded his head.
    Minter joked, “And stop taking time to look in a mirror, its Ji’ang’s job to stop and get lost in his own eyes.”
    Ajek chuckled as he slid his helmet back on.
    Minter said, “We need to get back to the others. We should be getting ready to move on the F.O.B.”
    As the two of them started for the exit the ground shook and an explosion rocked the building they were in.
    ‘Blast it!’ Minter thought.

    They both quickly ran outside. Smoke was billowing in the direction of the Forward Operating Base.
    ‘What in the ‘verse?’
    As they made it back to the others Minter called for Jit.
    “What happened? Was that us?” Minter asked.
    Jit answered, “No. It blew on its own. Drixy is checking it out now. Minter they rigged it to blow.”
    Minter said, “Hoping to catch us in it.”
    Jit said, “And another thing Mint, this city has been abandoned for a good week. All they left was soldiers but the officials have been gone.”
    Frustrated Minter asked, “So that’s a week of dying for nothing. How did we miss the evac?”
    Jit answered, “My best guess, they fled when that sandstorm hit.”
    Minter shook his head in disgust, “There’s nothing left for us to do then. Let’s get back to base.”
    Over the comms Trajin said, “You might want to see this.”
    Minter asked, “Where are you at?”
    Trajin answered, “A couple of hundred yards north west of your position.”
    Minter and Jit walked off to find Trajin.

    When they found him he was leaning against a wall. His double barreled shotgun held loosely in his left hand. In front of him was an Immortal soldier with a thick piece of wood rafter penetrating his chest. With one end of the rafter buried in the sand and the other end buried under rubble the Immortal was trapped. Even with their nickname Minter was surprised this alien was still among the living.

    Minter said, “It’s an Immortal caught in a bad position. So what?”
    Trajin gestured for him to be quiet.
    The Immortal was breathing hard and ragged. He was grunting as he tried to speak.
    He spit up blood but managed to say, “Troas scum…Dar’sater was never…important…lose or not it doesn’t…matter…with what the big…three are pumping out…you’ll be overrun in weeks.”
    “The big three?” Minter asked.
    The Immortal didn’t respond. He just struggled to breath.
    Minutes later the struggling stopped.
    “The big three?” Minter asked again.
    Trajin shook his head, “I’ve got nothing.”

    Dar’sater
    Forward Operating Base: 23417

    Minter and Jit walked down the polished hallways of the base towards the Commanding Officer’s office. Their boots and most of their armor were covered in the orange and red sand. They left a track of where they had been.

    Minter stepped through the office doors first. They both removed their helmets.

    Minter’s helmet was molded after a wicked skull with two horns protruding out of each side of its jaw. Jit’s helmet had a narrow T-shape visor and a large filter attached to it. His narrow visor cast a dark gaze wherever he stared.

    Elite General Staton sat in a leather chair behind a large wood desk.
    “Good to have you back.” He said.
    Both Minter and Jit nodded.
    “How many casualties were there?” Staton asked.
    Minter answered, “Ninety-three from the 19th battalion and seven from my own.”
    Shocked Staton asked, “Ninety-three? Did you use them as slaughter pigs?”
    Minter aggressively said, “I will tell you this once Staton do not send rookies with me like that again.”
    Staton sat back in his chair, “I know the 30th doesn’t play well with others but you need to learn how. Plus you have a small force you could use the help.”
    Jit stepped forward, “There is a reason we run small.”
    Staton said, “And I understand that reason but in this situation it was best you had more support.”
    Jit responded, “In this situation more lives were lost than needed.”
    Staton barked, “If that’s how you feel soldier tell it to the Royal Family, not me.”
    Jit clenched his fists and shouted, “I got something you can tell the Royal Family!”
    “Jit.” Minter growled.
    Jit took a step back.
    Minter stepped forward, “Staton I have a question for you.”
    Staton nodded his head.
    “Why the blast was another airstrike sent?” Minter asked.
    Staton asked, “What do you mean?”
    Minter growled, “I ordered one airstrike but I got two instead. Why in the ‘verse were two sent?”

    On his desk in front of him, Staton had a PDA. He leaned forward and tapped a few things: “Yes you ordered one airstrike but someone from the 19th ordered one as well.”
    “What?” Jit asked.
    Minter said, “I did not authorize that.”
    All Staton said was, “Well they gave the correct codes.”
    “Who?” Jit asked.
    Staton tapped a few more things on his PDA, “That would be one Sargent Aza.”
    Minter asked, “And where is she now?”
    Staton answered, “Barracks.”
    Minter had one final thing to say, "Staton this may be your F.O.B. and you may match my rank but while you hide behind your desk here, I am on the battlefield. I know battle. I know war. Do not think you know more than me when it comes to who deserves to fight along side me and my men. Is that understood?"
    Without waiting for a response Minter and Jit left the office and headed towards the barracks. They both had slid their helmets back on.
    Jit asked, “Aza, she’s screwed isn’t she?”
    Minter answered, “Maybe.”

    The two of them walked into the 19th Battalions barracks. There were only five soldiers from the 19th in the main room. There were only five of them left.

    Aza was one of them. She was sitting in a chair with her legs drawn up to her chest. Everyone else was watching the huge wall mounted television.

    One of the soldiers noticed Minter and Jit walk in and he abruptly stood up and at attention. Everyone else quickly followed suite.

    Minter and Jit both slid off their helmets.

    Pointing to Aza, Minter asked, “You called in an airstrike, why?”
    “I was given orders to.” Aza answered.
    Minter asked, “By whom? I didn’t authorize any other airstrikes.”
    Aza answered, “Our General gave me the orders.”
    Minter ordered, “Get you general over here now.”
    Aza responded, "I can’t.”
    Minter growled, “Well you better.”
    Aza breathed, “I can’t.”
    Minter's voice was venom, “Why not?”
    Aza didn’t answer.
    Minter almost shouted, “Why not?”
    “Because,” The Troas next to Aza answered: “Our General was one of the casualties today.”
    Jit ordered, “Name and rank soldier.”
    “Commander Judge Lane.” He answered.
    Jit asked, “So you would be the highest ranking soldier in the 19th now?”
    Judge answered, “Yes sir.”
    Jit got in the soldiers face, “Then you would be in charge of the 19th now?”
    Judge held his ground and nodded his head, “It would seem so.”
    Minter asked, “Why did your general call in a second airstrike?”
    Aza answered, “I wasn’t given an explanation, sir, just the order.”
    Minter leaned in close, “If you are ever in battle with me again you follow only my orders, understood?”
    Jit backed away away from Judge and watched the remained soldiers.
    Aza gulped, “Yes sir.”
    Judge took a step forward, “That isn’t fair. She was just following orders. She was obeying orders from her General.”
    Minter threatened, “Listen maggot I am not the Troas you want to get brave with. Is that understood?”
    Judge threw a punch at Minter. Before Judge’s fist made it halfway Minter caught him, punched Judge in the mouth, and kicked his legs out from beneath him.
    Minter moved so fast none of the 19th had time to flinch. When the others finally reacted and stepped forward Jit drew the pistol on the back of his belt.
    Jit ordered, “Hold it.”
    Minter crouched over Judge and threatened, “I like your guts kid but do that again and I’ll stick you with a blade.”
    Minter stood up and walked out of the barracks. Jit holstered his pistol and followed.




    I hope you guys liked it. Let me know what you think.

  2. #2
    Hi 30Drummer30! From reading this it's obvious you know what's happening moment for moment, but as a reader who can't see what's in your imagination I'm left with an extremely barren scene. I know they're in a trench and these Immortals are running towards them but that's it.

    It's your job to bring your scenes alive, it has a lot of potential to be exhilarating but there's little to no description preventing it from coming to life. Give me some reactions, emotions, sounds, smells, descriptive visuals: for example what is the visual theme of the city? Is it barely standing due to bombing? Are all it's building lined with silver.. anything to give a general idea. Something like does Ajek's piss steam? suggesting the planet is cold, is it yellow suggesting the troop is dehydrated.. even little things like piss can give a good deal of information away to the reader.

    Along that vein, instead of constantly using terms like 'immortal' why not mix it up a bit, think of a few different phrases to describe these aliens to break the monotony of your sentences.

    Your speech is good, it's obvious you understand your characters, but how you set out your dialogue needs some work, not sure I've read a book where the characters actions come before the quotation marks as yours does, generally a new line is started when someone else talks, so try to begin with speech marks and have your character's actions between or after the words spoken. (Using your last 2 lines of dialogue as an example.)
    "Hold it," Jit ordered.
    "I like your guts kid," Minter crouched over Judge, "but do that again and I'll stick you with a blade." (No real need to add he threatened as the words explain that!)

    Just a few things I picked up... remember this is just my opinion, I'm no expert on anything. I think this has a lot of potential and looks like you have some great ideas in your head, you just need to help them be brought to life for your reader!

    DSS

  3. #3
    Minter Shakur squeezed the trigger on his triple barreled shotgun. The big gun bucked upwards as it spit a chunk of energized metal. The metal chunk burned so hot it was nearly white. As quickly as the chunk roared away Minter pumped and fired again.
    A lot of the phrasing in this paragraph is pretty awkward. It’s choppy, throw in some conjunctions and don’t write a whole bunch of simple sentences one after another. Vary your sentence structure and it will flow better. Also, is “energized metal” a shotgun slug or is it a round that has some sort of extra kick to it? I’m not sure, so make sure that the reader knows what you’re talking about before you put in fancy wordplay.

    From inside of a dirt trench Minter fired. To his left and right were dozens more Troas warriors. Each had a gun drawn and was firing into the hoard of Immortals advancing on them. Minter and his warriors were entrenched outside of a small city. They had been focused on capturing the city for just over a week and half. The Immortals were doing an aggravatingly good job holding them off.
    This is a little better in terms of sentence variation, but it still needs work. All of your sentences have very similar form so it gets repetitive.

    Minter continuously fired into the same Immortal. It took seven slugs to the chest before the massive alien went down. Seven slugs from his shotgun left a hole roughly a foot in diameter.

    Each of the Immortals was huge. The smallest of them stood at seven feet and weighed well over four hundred pounds. In battle these animals didn’t bother to wear armor, just a few pieces of clothing to keep decent. But every single one of them carried a heavy caliber rifle that sported a three foot spike at the end of the barrel. Although Minter did notice a few of the Immortals were carrying rocket launchers and shotguns.
    This paragraph is noticeably better than earlier ones and not nearly as monotonous. The last sentence is a fragment though and could be fairly easily combined with the previous one.

    Over all comms Minter ordered: “Hold the line. We still have an airstrike en route.”
    Minter knew his warriors weren’t stupid enough to run out when an airstrike had just been ordered but they had the chore of fighting alongside the 19th Battalion for this leg of their tour.
    Who are the 19th Battalion? You say that it’s a chore to fight alongside them, but I would think it’s always good to have more friendlies to back you up. Explain why it’s a chore.

    ‘Hopefully a chore soon to be finished.’ Minter thought.

    The front lines of the Immortals were getting extremely close to their trench. Minter fired his shotgun as fast as he could. An untold amount of enemy bullets bounced off his helmet and shoulder plates.

    Suddenly he could hear the roar of two separate sets of engines. Two gunships thundered high above him. Two missiles fell from each of the gunships. Fire rocketed out of the ends as the missiles thundered into the mass of Immortals. Hundreds of Immortals were vaporized in the blast. The sandstorm that resulted from the explosions threatened to blind the Troas warriors.
    What do these gunships look like? Are they planes? Are they helicopters? Are they some combination of the two? I’m struggling to get an idea of the scene other than that there are good guys in a trench shooting at bad guys. I don’t know anything about the landscape.

    The two gunships rounded about and headed back towards their Forward Operating Base.

    Even with the airstrike the Troas were outnumbered three to one. On top of those odds thick plumes of dust now covered the battlefield. The coarse red sand tried to blind and choke them. Ocean sized sand dunes surrounded their battlefield and beyond that were more dunes.

    Minter shoved his shotgun into his armored pack and grabbed the foot long metal shaft hooked to the back of his thick leather belt. Jumping up out of the trench he flicked his wrist and the staff extended to a full five feet. From the top of the shaft extended a two and a half foot long scythe’s blade. Minter swung hard and cut an Immortal clean in half. As its torso fell it still fired at Minter.

    The scythe, just like the blades in his gauntlets, and the armor that protected him, were made of Troas metal. (Troas metal being one of the most durable metals in the entire universe. When the first of all Republics was built the government befriended Troas. As a gift the Troas gave tons of the metal. That metal was used to amass a nearly indestructible fleet. That fleet was used to enslave Troas and mine away most of the known metal at that time. Fortunately for the Troas, reserves were hidden and more veins have been discovered. Now in present times outside of Troas the metal is extremely rare and extremely coveted. So i'm not sure about this part of the paragraph. I want to include a small bit of history about the Troas but i don't know if this counts as an unnecessary information dumb. Let me know.)
    This info is all very interesting and I want to know more, but most of it doesn’t belong right in the middle of an action scene. All you need to know is that Troas metal is really durable and awesome stuff. Save your world-building is much better than mine though!

    Minter’s helmet was equipped with three hundred sixty degree vision and it showed him that every man and woman from his 30th Battalion was climbing out of the trench and drawing a blade. Minter swung again and cut down another Immortal. It fell to the ground and Minter quickly brought his blade down into the back of the alien’s neck. Looking up he saw the remaining soldiers of the 19th Battalion still fired from the trenches.
    I’m confused about a couple of things here. For one, 360 degree vision sounds like it would be really disorienting If you had to move around at all and It might be hard to tell what was in front of you and behind you. It sounds cool on paper but in reality I get the feeling it would be more of a handicap than a help. Secondly, I don’t understand how he can start fighting hand-to-hand with a bunch of aliens who still have guns; shouldn’t he be blown to bits? The concept itself is fine, but an explanation of why he doesn’t die from getting shot would be nice.

    Powerful hacks wasted any Immortal Minter’s scythe came across but the sheer number of the enemy was overwhelming. Immortals began to easily push past Minter and his warriors. As he ejected the blade in his left gauntlet he used the scythe’s blade as a hook and pulled an Immortal towards himself. As the massive alien stumbled towards Minter he punched the beast, ramming the gauntlet’s blade deep into its chest. Pushing the body off his blade Minter spun and swept his scythe deep into another Immortal’s midsection. Recovering from his swipe he brought his weapon down on an Immortal’s shoulder, ripping the blade out he took the alien's legs out, and before the Immortal hit the ground Minter brought his bladed gauntlet down into its chest.
    Nice action scene. Also well done with varying the sentence structure.

    Immortals were starting to flood into the trenches, crushing a few of the 19th Battalion’s soldiers. Some of the 19th tried to jump out of the trench but the Immortals stabbed down on them with their bladed rifles.
    Something about the phrase “stabbed down on them” just doesn’t sound right to me. Might be just me though.

    Minter and three other thirties ran towards the trench. As he jumped down into the trench he cut down an Immortal. Spinning he cut through the side of another. Coming out of the spin Minter managed to duck just as an Immortal stabbed down at him. He cut the legs out from the Immortal and stabbed down on the alien. Pulling his blade out Minter threw a brutal uppercut and caught an Immortal right underneath its chin. As he pulled the blade out the giant body fell.
    You’re using the phrase “stabbed down at” a lot. Vary it so you don’t get repetitive. Also, what are “thirties”?

    Suddenly Minter heard engines again.
    ‘What in the universe?’
    Minter looked to the sky. Two different Troas gunships flew into view.
    ‘Blast! Blast! Blast it!’
    “Fallback to the trench, another airstrike is coming.” Minter ordered.
    Is the stuff in italics his thoughts? And is “blast it” a curse or is it him radioing his men to shoot at the gunships or something?

    Minter jumped out of the trench and kept cutting through Immortals. Most of the sand was starting to settle and Minter could easily see if any of his warriors needed help. As quickly as they could his men and women made it back to the trench.

    As one Troas warrior turned to run an Immortal hooked his right leg and tripped him. The Immortal stabbed down but the Troas warrior managed to roll away. Minter drew his shotgun and ran towards the Immortal firing. Its chest exploded into shrapnel and flames but it shrugged off the attack. Minter quickly fired all three barrels into the Immortal then grabbed the Troas warrior by his armored collar and lifted him up.

    Minter ordered, “Get up Trajin.”
    Trajin responded, “Yes sir, boss.”
    This dialogue seems a little unnatural. They’d be yelling at each other, half-deaf, and not bothering with formalities since a friendly airstrike is about to drop down on their heads. As it is, it seems like Minter is telling Trajin to get out of bed.

    When Trajin stood at his full height of six foot three inches, he towered over Minter’s five foot ten frame. But what were truly imposing about Trajin were the horns that protruded out of his head and through the holes in his helmet. He had a thick horn that protruded out of his chin, almost like a goatee, and two curved horns that came off his elbows. A fully armored Troas warrior was an imposing sight but when that fully armored Troas warrior had dozens of razor sharp horns it brought that sight to a whole new level.

    As Minter and Trajin jumped into the trench they could hear the gunships thunder over them.
    The missiles dropped.
    The explosions were near deafening.
    Corse red sand was blasted in all directions.
    The warriors in the trench were bombarded by it. The sand moved at such high speeds it started to pelt off the silver and electric blue paint on Minter’s armor.

    Then it became extremely quiet. As the sand settled Minter climbed out of the trench. Majority of the Immortals lay dead but many crawled towards the trench, trying to continue their mission. As Minter walked past an Immortal it grabbed his armored boot. Minter jumped back and fired all three barrels into the Immortal.

    “You’re a bit jumpy there, aren’t you?” A Troas warrior named Jit Tatum asked.
    Minter growled, “Shut up, Jit.”
    Jit chuckled as he continued to walk. Like Minter, he had black skin but Jit had dreadlocks that came past his shoulder blades while Minter kept his head shaved. Minter had a trimmed goatee while Jit was always clean shaven.
    Jit asked, “So who was the maggot that called in that last airstrike?” Not sure I like the word “maggot.” It doesn’t fit with the sci-fi vibe.
    Minter answered, “Not a clue.”
    Jit shook his head in disgust.
    Minter said, “Trajin.”
    “Yeah boss.” Trajin answered.
    “Get the troops ready to march on the city.” Minter said.
    Trajin responded, “Consider it done.”
    Minter and Jit walked over to the trench and counted the bodies. Two of the dead were thirties and thirteen dead from the 19th.
    “Look, a few of them were killed by stabs to the throat.” Minter pointed out.
    “Immortals have to be getting faster.” Jit said.
    Minter agreed, “Have to be.”
    Jit continued, “Or we’re getting slower.”
    Minter shook his helmeted head, “Let’s hope not.”
    Both their helmet’s comms chimed and Trajin said, “Waiting on you.”


    Minter led the march on the city. As they marched he kept waiting for that second attack to come but none came. Soon they were within a hundred and fifty feet of the city and still no attack.
    ‘Something’s not right.’
    They made it inside the city without as much as a tumble weed rolling by.
    Jit thought aloud, “There is no way we exhausted their entire force.”
    Trajin offered, “Compared to the size of the forces the other cities had, we’ve probably only depleted a fourth to a half.”
    Minter carefully said, “Just watch each other’s back.”
    The dialogue in this paragraph is well-written but the pacing is too fast. They cover a lot of distance and prepare themselves for a suspected ambush in just a few sentences. Describe the city, because as it is I’m struggling to come up with a picture of where the characters are.

    They continued deeper into the city towards the Forward Operating Base. They caught sight of the base a couple of hundred yards out. Minter ordered a halt.
    Minter ordered, “Ajek, Armanti, Drixy, scout around. I want to know everything about the surrounding buildings.”

    The three warriors took off into the city.

    Four buildings into his scout Ajek could not shake the overwhelming urge to piss. As fast as he could he cleared the floor of the building he was on, found a toilet, and went.
    Finishing, he felt a thousand times better.
    ‘Hate pissing in my armor.’
    In front of a mirror he slid off his helmet and stared. He touched the stiches that held the jagged gash across his check closed.
    ‘Wife is not going to like that.’
    Just as he was moving to slide his helmet back on the floor boards creaked. In one fluid motion he drew a pistol and turned to face the noise.
    Staring back at him was an Immortal. The tip of the rifle’s blade was just a foot away from Ajek’s unprotected face.
    The Immortal’s smiled an evil lipless smile. Ajek was caught in a bad position and they both knew it.

    Ajek tried to think of a way that got him out of this situation mostly intact but he was drawing blanks. He was about to try a suicidal attack when there was a cock of a gun and the Immortals head exploded. Ajek was showered in pieces of the alien. He kept his pistol drawn as Minter walked into the doorway. Ajek blew a sigh of relief and holstered his gun. He turned the water faucet on and started to wash the blood and brain off his face and out of his hair.

    Angrily Minter shouted, “Why the blast was your bucket off?"
    Ajek finished cleaning off before he answered, “My stiches were bothering me, so I checked them.”
    Minter tried to contain his anger, “Did it cross your empty head to clear the area before you stripped out of your armor?”
    Ajek said defensively, “I did clear it.”
    Minter lost it and shouted again, “Obviously not! You’d be dead if I hadn’t come to see what was holding you up.”
    Ajek still didn’t look at Minter, instead he asked, “What does it matter? We’re dead anyways with the amount of Immortals we have to deal with.”
    As quickly as the anger flooded in it ebbed back. Minter quietly asked, “Is that how you feel? Dead men walking?”
    Ajek answered, “Sometimes.”
    Minter asked, “And how is that fair to your wife? You chose to go and fight instead of being with her.”
    Finally Ajek looked at Minter, “Don’t you dare bring her into this!”
    Minter chose to be stern, “Or what soldier? You’re going to give up like you’re doing with the war?”
    Ajek balled his fist and swung at Minter as hard has he could. In one fluid motion Minter blocked the swing and pinned Ajek against the wall.
    Minter barked, “That’s the intensity you used to have, Ajek. That’s the intensity you need. Bring it back.”
    He slowly unpinned Ajek and said, “I know it has been a grueling war. I know all you want to do is see your wife again and I promise you, soon you will. Our tour is almost up and you’ll see her soon. I just need you to keep you head and your bucket on. Can you do that for me? For your wife?”
    “I can boss. Sorry I let you down.” Ajek answered.
    “You didn’t.” Minter responded: “Keep that helmet on and you won’t lose your head.”
    Ajek nodded his head.
    Minter joked, “And stop taking time to look in a mirror, its Ji’ang’s job to stop and get lost in his own eyes.”
    Ajek chuckled as he slid his helmet back on.
    Minter said, “We need to get back to the others. We should be getting ready to move on the F.O.B.”
    As the two of them started for the exit the ground shook and an explosion rocked the building they were in.
    ‘Blast it!’ Minter thought.
    I think this exchange was your best paragraph yet. Ajek getting literally caught with his pants down was pretty funny, and I liked the character development.

    They both quickly ran outside. Smoke was billowing in the direction of the Forward Operating Base.
    ‘What in the ‘verse?’
    As they made it back to the others Minter called for Jit.
    “What happened? Was that us?” Minter asked.
    Jit answered, “No. It blew on its own. Drixy is checking it out now. Minter they rigged it to blow.”
    Minter said, “Hoping to catch us in it.”
    Jit said, “And another thing Mint, this city has been abandoned for a good week. All they left was soldiers but the officials have been gone.”
    Frustrated Minter asked, “So that’s a week of dying for nothing. How did we miss the evac?”
    Jit answered, “My best guess, they fled when that sandstorm hit.”
    Minter shook his head in disgust, “There’s nothing left for us to do then. Let’s get back to base.”
    Over the comms Trajin said, “You might want to see this.”
    Minter asked, “Where are you at?”
    Trajin answered, “A couple of hundred yards north west of your position.”
    Minter and Jit walked off to find Trajin.
    Now would be a good time to let the reader in on some backstory. You could lay out the outline of how the mission was supposed to go down and what went wrong. As it is I’m confused as to what “the evac” is and what the objective of the assault was. (To take the FOB?)

    When they found him he was leaning against a wall. His double barreled shotgun held loosely in his left hand. In front of him was an Immortal soldier with a thick piece of wood rafter penetrating his chest. With one end of the rafter buried in the sand and the other end buried under rubble the Immortal was trapped. Even with their nickname Minter was surprised this alien was still among the living.
    Just wondering, why does he have a double barreled shotgun and Minter has a triple barrel? I don’t know why I noticed this but it struck me as odd because armies normally have standardized gear.

    Minter said, “It’s an Immortal caught in a bad position. So what?”
    Trajin gestured for him to be quiet.
    The Immortal was breathing hard and ragged. He was grunting as he tried to speak.
    He spit up blood but managed to say, “Troas scum…Dar’sater was never…important…lose or not it doesn’t…matter…with what the big…three are pumping out…you’ll be overrun in weeks.”
    “The big three?” Minter asked.
    The Immortal didn’t respond. He just struggled to breath.
    Minutes later the struggling stopped.
    “The big three?” Minter asked again.
    Trajin shook his head, “I’ve got nothing.”
    I didn't get to the second half because I unfortunately don't have that much time on my hands, but I'll try to finish this soon. The main things you need to work on are description and sentence structure. You don't have much in the way of description and it makes it hard for me to understand the world your characters are moving around in. You also like to use sentences with similar length and structure over and over again, leading to monotony for your reader. I often find when I read over my writing that I've done the same thing and made certain paragraphs sound very boring; it's really not that hard to fix. Just add a few conjunctions, throw in a transition or two, and put in some complex sentences and you should be good to go.

  4. #4
    Wow thank you both for the help. I'm sorry it took me so long to get on here and thank you, work has been insane. But ill defiantly take some time to rewrite this and repost it with the advise you guys have given.

    @DSSAtkinson- I've always felt like I've struggled to show detail well. Its something that bothers me and I've been trying to work on. Ill def change up the monotony of calling them Immortals.

    @Lagoran- Just to clear up a few things now (I'll still clear them up in the rewrite)
    360 vision in my mind is that their helmets HUD has different cameras in the cardinal directions so with a flick of their eyes they can see behind them or to their sides.

    In the second part it references that 30th battalion likes to work alone. And thirties is a nickname for soldiers in the 30th battalion.

    The hand-to-hand is because the Immortals are getting to close to the trench. Once a soldier with a blade is so close to you a gun is somewhat useless.

    Italics are thoughts. Blast it is an intensifier.

    What Minter says to Trajin is over comms so he wouldnt have to yell and it would come out clear. I tried to write Trajin as a character who is kind of off. So much of his dialogue will be not normal.

    The Troas military isn't like the American military (for example. i dont know where your from) In the Troas military the weapons are chosen by the trooper. So it fits them to perfection. Nothing in standardized. Even the armor layout is unique to each trooper. So in this case Minter just prefers a triple barrel while Trajin prefers a double.

    I really try to work on what you guys suggested thanks a ton

  5. #5
    I've always felt like I've struggled to show detail well. Its something that bothers me and I've been trying to work on. Ill def change up the monotony of calling them Immortals.
    Always plenty of time to practice! Just imagine your battle scene as though you were watching it through a TV screen, and describe what makes it breath taking.. that's generally how I tend to do it, (or try to!)

    Be sure to let us know when you've posted the update!

    DSS

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